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Week One College Football Betting Preview, Picks, Predictions, Odds
Welcome back college football! 2021 brings fans a return to normalcy after most teams played games without fans in the stands a year ago. One thing that will be different is the prevalence of sports betting across the country, so let’s look at what the oddsmakers have cooked up for kickoff weekend.
Miami (OH) at Cincinnati -22.5
The Bearcats were one of college football’s top teams a season ago and lost a close game to Georgia in the Peach Bowl that kept them a few points shy of an undefeated season. Luke Fickell’s team has aspirations to reach the College Football Playoff this year and they bring back the players to make that dream a reality. Oddsmakers have their win total betting line set at 9.5 wins, so expectations are high for the Bearcats.
Miami (FL) vs Alabama -19.5
The other Miami team takes on last year’s reigning champions in Atlanta to kick off the season. The Hurricanes have one of the most intriguing players in college football in quarterback D’Eriq King. King suffered a late season ACL tear, but has worked his way back to be ready to start against the Tide.
Alabama finished 2020 undefeated, but with success comes turnover. Nick Saban’s team replaces offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and five first round draft picks from last year, so the game will be worth watching to see if the Tide can reload. The over/under is set at 61.5 which bears watching with all of the new offensive players Alabama has along with their sturdy defense.
Georgia vs Clemson -2.5
The biggest game of the weekend between two top five teams in Charlotte. Clemson has been in the College Football Playoff in all but one season and is among the betting favorites to reach it again. Georgia has been on the cusp of breaking through on a regular basis and is also at the top of the board in oddsmakers' eyes.
Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei replaces Trevor Lawrence and looks ready to carry the mantle. JT Daniels offers the Bulldogs a playmaking quarterback they haven’t had under Kirby Smart. Overall though the two defenses may steal the show so looking at the games over/under of 50.5 could be worthwhile even with such a small total.
LSU at UCLA +2.5
Another big out of conference game on the national stage. Coach O and the Tigers have been dealing with practicing away from home after Hurricane Ida forced them to leave Baton Rouge early. UCLA played a week zero game against Hawaii and dominated in the running game and on the defensive side of the ball.
Both teams will be looking to make a statement early on in the season and the oddsmakers like the Tigers by a field goal despite a poor showing in 2020. LSU’s reputation as “DBU” should help them in this matchup against the Bruins with two of the top cornerbacks in the country lining up to slow down Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Chip Kelly’s offense. The over/under for the game is set at 65.5 suggesting a shootout, but both teams seem to be strong on the defensive side of the ball.
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